What is negotiation?

1. Decide if you should negotiate

There are many reasons why people choose to negotiate. And there are also reasons why they don’t. Think about these reasons and then decide if you want to try negotiating with your partner.

Reasons to negotiate

Most people try to negotiate before deciding to go to court. Negotiating is the simplest way to resolve your legal issues. You don’t have to follow any special rules to negotiate. And you don’t have to involve a family law professional or the court.

Negotiation can be the fastest and least expensive way to resolve your legal issues. You also have a lot of control over the timing, process, and results.

Even when you can’t agree, helps you and your partner to better understand what you both want. You and your partner might then be able to agree on an (ADR) process or family dispute resolution process to help resolve the issues.

In family law you must think about trying ADR to resolve your issues out of court if it’s suitable for you. ADR might not be right for you if:

  • one person is afraid of another person because there is a history of family violence
  • there are serious mental health or drug abuse issues

Reasons not to negotiate

There are a few situations when you may have an important reason not to negotiate. For example, you may not want to negotiate if:

  • You think you won’t be able to negotiate fairly or safely with your partner because there is a history of partner abuse
  • You think that your partner may try to hide important information from you.
  • You have an emergency and need a because there is a risk that your partner is going to leave the country with your child

When negotiation fails

Negotiating won’t work if you and your partner can’t talk to each other properly, even with the help of a lawyer or a family law professional. Family law professionals are trained to help you reach an agreement or make a decision for you by using an ADR process.

For example, it won’t work if one partner refuses to share important financial information that the other partner needs to make an agreement, even if both partners have lawyers.

If you can’t agree on your issues and you’ve tried ADR, or it’s not right for you, one of you will have to start a court case. A lawyer can help you decide what to do and help you during the process.

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